How to Promote Your Contest on Facebook

Learn everything you need to know about promoting a contest or giveaway on Facebook with our helpful guide.

If you want to engage an online audience, drive meaningful actions and grow your brand then there isn't a more effective strategy than running a contest.

As powerful as they are, in order for a contest to be truly effective you need to make sure you're properly promoting it. If your target audience doesn't know your contest exists, they won't be able to enter it. It's as simple as that.

There are tons of fantastic ways you can promote your online contest, and Facebook remains one of the best channels you can use for this purpose.

Facebook is a perfect platform for promoting your contest in a visually stimulating and highly engaging manner that allows you to reach a wide audience and connect with users in a meaningful way.

To help you make the most of your campaign we're going to take you through the best tips and strategies for promoting your contest on Facebook.

The easiest way to promote a contest on Facebook is simply by running your contest on your timeline and allowing users to enter by interacting with your post.

While this type of contest is incredibly easy to run, it's far from the most effective type of campaign you can put together.

Facebook's promotion guidelines dictate that you can't ask users to like your page, tag friends, or share your post to enter a contest.

This means that you are essentially limited to asking users to like and comment on your post when you run a contest directly on your timeline, and while these actions are definitely worth driving, they don't live up to the full potential of a contest.

If you want to drive a wider selection of meaningful actions and amass contest entries from a variety of online sources then instead of running your giveaway directly on Facebook, you should use a 3rd party contest app like Gleam.

With Gleam's Competitions app you can run powerful contests which drive all sorts of valuable actions, and use Facebook as a promotional platform to drive traffic towards your campaign.

You can easily drive entries from your Facebook audience by sharing links which take users to a dedicated contest page on your website or a hosted landing page.

When you post your contest on Facebook it's important that you make it stand out from the pack and grab people's attention. You don't want anyone scrolling past your contest without checking it out.

The best way to do this is by using eye-catching imagery to engage your audience and incite interest in your post. Try to use your image to make the purpose of your post perfectly clear. You can do this by displaying your prize, or announcing your contest with bold written copy.

Another fantastic way to attract attention from Facebook users is by using an eye-catching video or GIF that communicates the purpose of your post and immediately engages them so they pay close attention to your campaign.

You can use high-quality videos to explain your contest and build excitement, or you can use simple graphics to add a bit of visual flair to your promotional posts.

As well as using high-quality visuals, it's also incredibly important for you to use engaging and informative text in your promotional material.

Here are some tips for making your written copy as compelling as possible:

  • Make sure that everyone knows you're running a contest or giveaway with a prominent, capitalised announcement at the top of your post.
  • Use emojis to brighten up your description.
  • Use casual language that's natural to your target audience.
  • Describe your prize and build desire to win it.
  • Clearly explain how to enter your contest and link off to it.
  • Properly format your description so it's easy to read and navigate.
  • Use relevant hashtags such as #contest #giveaway #win and any product specific hashtags your prize may have.

This contest from is a perfect example of how to write an outstanding promotional Facebook post for your contest.

Anytime you run a contest, the primary factor that will incentivise users to enter your campaign is the prize that you're giving away. If people want to win your prize, they'll enter your contest. So make sure that you're always putting your prize at the forefront of your promotional material.

This means putting your prize on full display in your image and announcing exactly what it is in your description.

When you share your contest on Facebook it's highly unlikely that your entire audience will be exposed to the post, so it's a good idea to post about it regularly to maximise your reach and remind your audience to enter.

When you're making multiple posts about your contest it's important that you're keeping things fresh. Use different images and phrasing, and try to include updates on your contest such as how long people still have left to enter. This should help prevent your promotional efforts from becoming repetitive and spammy.

As well as regularly promoting your contest on Facebook, you should also try to maximise entry by promoting your campaign across other social platforms such as Instagram and Twitter.

As your contest approaches its close, you should be trying to drive every last entry you can.

Post more frequently, remind people of the limited time left, highlight how quick it is to enter, and showcase the value of your prize and make people eager to win it.

Your Facebook cover photo is essentially free advertising space on your Facebook page. It's the first thing people see when they visit your page, and it presents you with an outstanding opportunity to promote your contest to everyone who checks you out on Facebook.

Facebook cover photo for Jane's giveaway

Using your cover photo to promote your contest is particularly effective if you give users clear instructions on how to enter, or pin your contest post to the top of your page.

Facebook allows you to easily pin posts to the top of your page so that they're the first post users will see when they visit you.

Pinning your contest post is an outstanding way to bring your contest to the attention of anyone who visits your page and drive entries from highly relevant users.

Pinned giveaway post on Facebook page

All you have to do to pin a post is click the menu in the top right-hand corner of your post and select Pin to Top of Page.

A great way to add an extra layer of engagement to your contests is by running them alongside relevant holidays or other special events. This is a great way to get people excited for your contest and encourage entries.

This approach is particularly effective if there's a certain holiday or event that perfectly matches up with your brand.

If you can raise awareness and get people excited for your contest before it goes live you will put yourself in a terrific position to drive a ton of immediate entries and get the ball rolling on your campaign right from the jump.

If you're running a contest which tasks users with submitting their own images to enter then it's important to create a unique hashtag for your campaign. Try to pick something catchy that is contest specific, and clearly branded.

This will help you build engagement, spread awareness, encourage entry and easily track entries.

As a general rule, you should ask users to upload their images to your Facebook page, or to Instagram. This will make it a lot easier for you to track entries, either manually or with a 3rd party app.

If you use Gleam Competitions to run your contest you can use our Facebook and Instagram Import actions to automatically import and enter appropriately hashtagged images into your campaign.

Run Your Own Photo Contest
Running Photo Contests

Find out everything you need to know about setting up your own engaging photo contest and displaying submissions in a stylish gallery.

Once you've started collecting content submissions, you should start sharing them on Facebook as a way of encouraging more users to submit their own content and enter your contest.

Showcasing content that has already been submitted is a fantastic way to encourage users to get involved and inspire their own creations.

Getting users to like, share, comment on, and tag friends in your post will do wonders for your contest's visibility.

All of these actions will help you expose your contest to new users which will help you drive entries from relevant people and build brand awareness.

Although you are prohibited from using a contest to incentivise some of these actions, you can still ask users to do it to help share your campaign with friends.

Just ensure that you make it plainly clear that users aren't required to share your post or tag their friends in order to enter your contest.

Another highly effective way to maximise the promotional reach of your campaign and drive entries from new, relevant users is by using Gleam's Viral Share action to award extra entries to users who successfully share your contest with their friends.

This will help you put your contest (and brand) in front of massive new audiences and maximise the value you get out of your campaign.

As we mentioned earlier, your promotional posts won't reach your entire Facebook following.

If you want to reach more of your fans, as well as their friends and other relevant people then you may want to consider boosting a promotional post with Facebook ads.

This will help you extend your reach, encourage participation from a wider audience and drive more actions.

Live videos on Facebook can be incredibly engaging, and they have proven to be a great way to get a lot of eyes on your Facebook page.

Announcing your contest on Facebook Live can be a great way to raise awareness and create a sense of immediacy which will help you drive instant entries.

Teaming up with other brands that offer complementary products to run a collaborative giveaway is an awesome way to give your promotional efforts a meaningful boost.

Contest partnerships can be hugely beneficial to your promotional efforts, as you won't only be able to expose your contest to your online following, but also your partner's.

This will expand your promotional reach and allow you to expose your contest, as well as your brand, to a targeted new audience who you may have otherwise never been able to connect with.

Running A Partner Campaign
Learn How to Run a Partner Campaign

Find out everything you need to know about using Gleam to partner up with other brands and run powerful giveaways.

Striking up a partnership with a prominent social media influencer in your niche is a truly awesome way to give yourself a promotional boost and build awareness from a highly targeted new audience.

You can reach out to influencers and get them to share your contest in exchange for money or some dedicated actions in the campaign.

If you decide to team up with an influencer it's worth extending your partnership beyond Facebook. Instagram is the most effective channel for influencer marketing, so it's generally more effective to focus your efforts there.

Partner With Influencers
Run A Gleam Campaign With Influencers

Learn more about finding the right influencer and how you can setup a partnered Gleam campaign to expand your audience.

The vast majority of Facebook activity takes place on mobile devices, so it's safe to assume that when you promote your contest on Facebook, you will be driving a lot of mobile entries.

This means that it's vitally important for your contest to function perfectly on mobile devices. This can be a challenge, but it's a challenge you can easily overcome with Gleam.

Gleam's Competitions app allows you to create powerful contests that are automatically optimised for mobile devices so you don't have to worry about anything getting in your way when you promote your contest on Facebook.


Ahron Burstin

Ahron is a Growth Marketer at Gleam. Shoot him a Tweet if you got something out of this post ☺